MEGATech Reviews: VisionTek Charge & Sync USB 3.0 Seven Port Hub (900725) Michael Kwan October 7, 2014 MEGATech Reviews My desktop PC is a few years old now. While the core hardware, like the motherboard and even the graphics card, is still holding up just fine against my daily use and abuse, I have gone about upgrading a few of the components along the way. I’ve added an SSD for faster bootups, for example, and I’ve doubled the RAM. One problem that has been nagging me, though, is the lack of USB ports on this case. I only have two USB 3.0 ports and they’re both located in the back, making for quite the troublesome nuisance when I want to take advantage of those faster speeds. I also want to keep my smartphone charged while sitting at my desk. Addressing both of those concerns in a rather elegant and almost industrially-inspired manner is the VisionTek Charge & Sync USB 3.0 Seven Port Hub, a seemingly simple product that offers three different modes of operation. Features and Box Contents The fundamental principle behind this product is obvious enough, given that it’s right there in its name. The VisionTek Charge & Sync USB 3.0 Seven Port Hub is a hub. It has seven ports. It supports USB 3.0 and those USB ports are used both for charging and for syncing. However, not all seven of the ports are made alike and I’ll get to that in just a moment. The hub itself appears to be made from metal, instantly giving it a more serious feel than if they went with a cheaper plastic instead. It’s reasonably compact at roughly 110mm x 45mm x 23mm and it has a series of amber lights to indicate activity across the USB 3.0 ports. Included in the box, aside from the VisionTek hub itself, are the one-page user manual, USB 3.0 connection cable and AC power adapter. The Hub That Can Independently Charge Too Yes, there are seven USB ports on this VisionTek hub, but they don’t all take on the same functionality. The first four ports, clearly indicated with blue connectors, comprise the USB 3.0 hub. This is where you can plug in your flash drives, hard drives and other USB 3.0 accessories to connect them to your computer. Each port, assuming that you’ve connected the hub to a USB 3.0 port on your computer, is good for 900mA of juice and a data transfer rate of up to 5Gb/s. The remaining three ports are for charging only, two of which offer 1A and the last of which is good for 2A. As you can imagine, the faster charging port is best for tablets and other higher-powered devices. We must remember that this hub is different in scope from a more robust USB 3.0 docking station, so it won’t come with too many additional bells and whistles. What it does provide is three functional “modes.” The first mode utilizes only USB bus power and that’s how you get the four-port USB 3.0 hub on your computer. That’s great for travel with your laptop, for instance. The second mode only requires the AC adapter and it allows you to charge your devices across all seven ports. That’s great as a charging station in the office. And the third mode combines the two, using both a USB connection and the AC adapter to provide you with the full functionality. This third mode is likely how you’ll be using the VisionTek USB 3.0 hub the most. Impact on USB 3.0 Performance? A common concern with USB hubs is the possible degradation of performance. If you stick an external hard drive directly into your computer, you might be able to achieve faster transfer speeds than if you plug it into a hub like this. To test this theory, I ran CrystalDiskMark on a fast Kingston USB 3.0 flash drive, both directly into my computer’s USB 3.0 port and via the VisionTek hub. As you can see above, the impact on performance is practically non-existent. In fact, the speeds recorded while connected through the VisionTek USB 3.0 hub are marginally higher, but we’ll chalk that up to usual variability. Of course, if you were to access four USB 3.0 devices at the same time through the hub, you are still effectively going through a single USB 3.0 port on your computer, so you will experience some bottlenecking. MEGATechie Visionary Power or MEGATechie Hub of Disapproval? No one is going to claim that the VisionTek Charge & Sync USB 3.0 Seven Port Hub is a particularly revolutionary product. It’s not reinventing the wheel and it’s not exactly doing anything that we haven’t seen before. That being said, it is an incredibly useful product whether you have it connected to your computer as a hub or you even use it as an independent charging station on the go. With a reassuring metal build, reliable performance across the board, and the convenience of a plug-and-play experience on practically any computer, this hub is a solid buy. The VisionTek Charge & Sync USB 3.0 Seven Port Hub retails for about $55 through the usual online channels. Share This With The World!